Ahh, New York. Magical, exciting, everything you want in a city and more than you could ever imagine. This past fall I’ve started college, and now I live in a tiny dorm room in the center of Buffalo. While this change has been exciting, I have gotten much more used to city life. Visiting New York this last time has made me realize just how little good ol’ Buffalo is and how much there is out there! This trip was so much fun (I did not want to leave) and I’m going to share some of my favorite photographs, memories, and best advice for when you visit the big apple!
1. Location, Location, Location
We stayed at the Manhattan at Times Square which is located right in Midtown, just a short walk to so many things. Times Square, 5th avenue, Rockefeller Plaza, Central Park were all very close so it was a great central location! Make sure you choose a hotel close to the places you want to go, because public transportation can get pretty expensive and irritating in general!
2. Iconic Central Park
Central Park is always on the top of everyone’s list when visiting the city, and for good reason! Not only is it iconic but the breathtaking combination of nature and urban skylines is so beautiful. Plus even with all the tourists you can always find less populated spots, and it’s a nice area to escape the busy city, if only for a few minutes.
3. Walk Everywhere
In order to really experience the city, you have to just explore! This is my absolute favorite part whenever I visit, I love roaming around and discovering new things. Plus there really is no better place to people watch than NYC. Dave and I found the atrium above by exploring around, and we stumbled upon the Palace hotel (featured in Gossip Girl) and the Plaza (featured in everything but notably Eloise and Home Alone). This is an amazing place for sightseeing so take advantage!
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Play Tourist
Every time I visit the city I always feel like I can’t be a tourist, I have to try and be cool and act like a New Yorker. In reality, who cares if you play tourist for a bit? Sometimes it’s not all about finding the trendiest unknown spots, but enjoying some well renowned traditions. One of my personal favorites is Rockefeller Center. It has everything, shopping like Anthropologie and Free People for the girls, Nintendo and the Lego store for the boys, ice skating for entertainment, and lots of cafes and eateries! Plus, it is home to the Today Show and NBC store, where Dave and I pretended to be morning talk show hosts! Lots of fun things to do and it doesn’t have to be expensive. I’m a big cafe fan so I’m always looking for cute cafes! Bouchon Bakery is located in Rockefeller Plaza and it has amazing baked goods and drinks, plus a really cute outdoor sitting area! Also, we had a lot of fun at the big Toys R Us in Times Square! As you can see there’s a massive ferris wheel in the center of the whole stores overlooking 3 levels of pure awesomeness so it’s kind of amazing. And at only 5 dollars a ride it’s a steal too!
5. City That Never Sleeps
“There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless.” – Simone de Beauvoir
New York is the city that never sleeps for a reason! With so much to do, sleep is out of the question! Though I know people appreciate their sleep (believe me I do too), when in NYC sometimes it’s better to suspend your regular schedule. If you wanted a relaxing trip you would have picked the beach! That said, there’s plenty to do at night. You could go see a show on Broadway! My mom surprised Dave and I with tickets to Aladdin and it was absolutely amazing! I definitely recommend it if you get the chance! If a Broadway show isn’t in your budget, what about a singing cafe full of super talented aspiring Broadway singers singing right to you while you eat? Check out Ellen’s Stardust Diner! My family and I go to this place every year because it’s so much fun and you don’t have to pay for tickets, just the price of your meal! And it’s diner food so it’s a good excuse to get some chicken fingers and a milkshake!
6. Don’t Forget Breakfast
You’re going to need to refuel in the morning, and being in a city with some of the best food in the world, why not go out and get some breakfast? I absolutely love going out to breakfast (and breakfast food) so these were some of my favorite times! I highly recommend Astro, a cute little hole-in-the-wall diner that has kind of a Seinfeld vibe to it, and amazing food. I had creme cheese stuffed crepes and they were so delicious, my stomach growls just thinking about it.
7. Good Company
Last but not least, travel with good company! I was fortunate enough to be able to go with my family and Dave and we all had so much fun! Traveling is a lot more fun when you have your best friend by your side, and experiencing all of these cool things is always better together! So if you plan a trip to New York, make sure you bring good company!